A few days ago I received a spam email from yet another Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company offering its services for one of my sites. If you’ve ever received one of these emails yourself then you need to read this.
Though better worded than most it was the same old story: An SEO ‘expert’ offering to get much more traffic to my site and increase my sales, and return on investment by improving its position in Google etc etc.
The site in question is www.apriliafutura.co.uk, one of the first sites I built for myself as a hobby for a motorcycle I used to own. The site is an online reference for owners of what is a rare bike and I keep it going because it’s still useful to people – I’ve never made money from it: That’s never been the point.
It’s not perfect by a long way and I haven’t changed it for years, but the main thing about it is that if you do a Google search for Aprilia Futura or most associated terms it’s top, even beating Motor Cycle News and Wikipedia.
For most other associated terms it’s in the top three or four results.
I don’t think you can get any better search engine optimisation than that and that’s good enough for me.
But apparently it’s not enough for these search engine optimisation ‘experts’ – I get at least one email a week for the Aprilia Futura site.
So how does this company (who shall remain nameless) think they can improve the search engine position for my website when it is already top of the pile?
Here’s what the email says:
“I’ve noted down some important things as I looked at your site. I see you have Google analytics installed, which is excellent, but there are lots of things I would recommend you do to increase the number of visitors that find you in Google.”
ApriliaFutura.co.uk gets maybe 600 visitors a week from all over the world, not bad since only 4,000 or so Aprilia Futuras were ever built. There are only 80 registered in the UK. This is a niche market!
Further down the email gushes:
“If you like I can analyse your competitors with our in-house designed software which will give you an instant insight into how easy it would be for you to achieve a dramatic increase in website visitors, and a matching increase in your business. I can tell you a few sneaky facts about your competitors and see how many people are searching Google for exactly what you do.”
Errm. It doesn’t have any competitors, it’s not a business, and if people search on Google for ‘exactly what I do’ they find my site. How can you improve on that?
And besides, this convenient wording ignores one thing – you can get an increase in website visitors but that counts for nothing – it’s what those visitors do when they get there that counts.
Official Google search engine optimisation guide
That’s not all. Our SEO ‘expert’ says:
“If you’d like a copy of the official Google SEO (search engine optimisation) guide that we normally only send out to clients I’d be happy to ping you back a copy”
Actually, the official Google SEO guide is available to anyone. Here it is: Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF download)
The email goes on to say:
“Alternatively do a google search for “optimising my website for google” and you’ll find all the details you need.”
The implication is that you’ll find the company responsible for the email’s page. Now I can never resist a challenge so I did exactly that. You can do the same.
The first two places are taken by web design companies who had received the same spam email and had decided to make a point of it. Obviously, this blog post is a shameless attempt to do the same.
And what of our search engine optimisation ‘experts’? Where are they when you search for ‘optimising my website for Google’?
They are half way down page three – i.e. nowhere.
So what do we learn from this?
To be honest I’ve given up on being offended by these emails but aside from mocking these countless SEO ‘experts’ sending out thousands of emails a week there is a serious point here.
If you have a business website and you feel you need to get your site further up the rankings this sort of offer can no doubt sound very attractive.
But often their claims do not stand up to scrutiny. Only last week we came across a website owner who paid an SEO company around £200 per month with no effect.
Search engine optimisation is not rocket science!
The truth is that SEO is not rocket science as you can see from the Google guide. Just follow a few simple rules and make sure your site is relevant and you’ll be well on your way. You do not need to pay thousands for this.
But most of all these emails always claim to have looked at your site and claim they can offer all sorts of improvements in performance and search engine rankings.
However if they had bothered to do that – for example by Googling Aprilia Futura – they would have realised they could not improve my site’s search engine position.
Also if they had really looked at my site – even for a second or two – they would have realised it’s not a business.
And finally it doesn’t say much about their abilities if they tell you to Google them and they are not even on the first page!